Orozco PhD thesis submitted

Congratulations to University of Otago PhD student, Mireya Montaño Orozco, on submitting her PhD thesis! In just over 3 years, Mireya completed an excellent modeling study on the whirls and swirls within the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. She developed and evaluated a 28-year, 1-km scale ROMS model nested within the national-scale Moana Project ROMS hindcast, provided a quantitative description of climatological Eulerian and Lagrangian characteristics, and looked at how modeled connectivity metrics were influenced by biological traits of green-lipped mussels. Excited to have you as a colleague and collaborator!



A terrific day on the water last week. Bio-physical sampling is a whole new kettle of fish so we had to work out some details and practice casts with Derek Grimes, Christian Briseño-Avena, and CMS operations crew. Casts conducted with the CTD rosette+LISST-HOLO and plankton tows on RV Cape Fear.

Wave charts from the Marshall Islands

I was late to the game on these, but they are remarkable. Imagine reconstructing what are essentially wave rays or wave crests or diffraction patterns (?!) out of sticks after rocking and rolling around your archipelago…


and thanks to Jamie Pringle for pointing to the MFA collection:


Bald Head Island surfzone measurements

Great experiment measuring surfzone waves and currents with students in our independent study on Frying Pan Shoals. The only way to get to the Shoals from land is from Bald Head Island. Graciously hosted by BHI Conservancy, we staged, deployed, and recovered all of our instruments this weekend. The students will have a blast with this data set!

Moana Ocean Hindcast evaluation paper published

Check out our new publication releasing the Moana Ocean Hindcast model. This work is published in Geoscientific Model Development and compares a long-running free ROMS hindcast to a suite of offshore and nearshore coastal observations (spoiler alert, it does pretty well!). The model is now used for a variety of physical/biological oceanographic and coastal management studies around NZ:


See the Moana Project page for other updates.

New Paper greets the New Year

Check out the new publication from University of Otago PhD candidate, Mireya Montaño in Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science! This work describes the development of a coastal-resolving ROMS model from the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. Circulation patterns, island effects, and particle dispersal characteristics are all contrasted with a low-resolution model and our common expectations from wind-driven coastal upwelling. It’s a great contribution from Mireya towards the Moana Project:


A day on RV Seahawk

What a first day on the water in North Carolina! Red carpet treatment from RV Seahawk and CMS dive team. This scoping adventure was the official start of our collaboration with BOEM to study Frying Pan Shoals. We have deployed a MOSTLY empty test lander and sand-screwed a few driveway posts. What? Yup, you have heard of driveway poles to mark the snow, here we hope to mark sand accretion or erosion at 3, 8, and 12 km from shore!

PhD thesis on ocean mixing submitted!

Big kudos to University of Otago PhD student, Arnaud Valcarcel on submitting his thesis today! Arnaud has had quite the journey during his PhD. From ship delays to COVID cruise delays, he persisted and has now seen the work through. In a short amount of time, he has applied many newly developed ocean research skills from instrumentation and days at sea to complex data analysis and numerical modeling. From a cosmologist to now an oceanographer, I am excited to see what you will do next!

BOEM project funded: Welcome to the Fish Fry

Excited to be involved in this upcoming project, FishFry. We will be measuring ocean currents, waves, sediment and biology around Frying Pan Shoals. Huge effort by Dr. Joe Long to lead our UNCW team and put together a winning proposal. Looking forward to working with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). Lots more on this to come, but for now a reminder of these wonderful North Carolina Shoals:

New publication out

Our Annual Reviews article is available as an early online release! This effort with Melissa Moulton, Jess Garwood, Melanie Fewings and Jamie Pringle has been tremendously fun and rewarding. It also would not have been possible without our dear Nirnimesh Kumar who worked and advocated for this paper from the beginning. I am extremely proud to be part of it all: